WASHINGTON, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to its most recent website traffic statistics, The ALS Association finds that more and more people are visiting www.alsa.org looking for information about the disease, its symptoms, diagnoses and treatments. This May, The ALS Association will mark ALS Awareness month by working to turn that interest into action through a vibrant online and social media campaign around the shared vision to create a world without ALS.
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ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. This fatal disease robs people of the ability to walk, to talk and traps them inside a body they can no longer control until such essential involuntary muscle actions such as breathing can no longer be sustained. There is no known cause of the disease, although military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population.Month over month during the last calendar year, The ALS Association saw a steady increase in its web traffic to www.alsa.org, which continues to index well above the industry benchmark for unique site visitors to disease or health-specific charities. Month over month, the number of unique visits has steadily increased, due to direct web hits and through search engine queries about the disease. "We typically see a spike in our web traffic when someone very visible is connected to ALS," continued Jane H. Gilbert, President and CEO of The ALS Association. "But those spikes are now built upon a solid stream of daily visitors. During this year's ALS Awareness Month, we want to funnel that interest into action to encourage people to get involved in the fight against this devastating disease." The Association's online and social media campaign during this year's ALS Awareness Month is seeking to engage this steady stream of web traffic by leveraging multiple online activities. The call to action for ALS Awareness Month will be to "Create a world without ALS. Speak up now to give hope." The Association is giving visitors to www.alsa.org the opportunity to take one of three immediate actions through a web overlay feature: to tell your story, to advocate or to sign up for more information. These engagement opportunities are also located on this campaign landing page, www.alsa.org/awareness. The main call to action online during ALS Awareness Month is the "Tell Your Story" feature. It enables users to submit either a print or video story (via YouTube) to tell what they hope for as it relates to the fight against ALS, and to then share their story via social media. "Input from people with the disease and others affected is essential for spreading awareness about ALS," said Gilbert. "We're pleased that so many people have already spoken up by sharing their moving and impactful stories."